Foreign student learns about America in Hamilton

This year, Hamilton High School has been visited by many exchange students from around the world, from Spaniards, to Germans, to Brits. Although many friends were made, their time here was short.

Hamilton has also had the chance to host exchange students for the entire year. Jay Tsai from Taiwan is staying with Jessie Mulder (sophomore), who has never been to another country or done an exchange program before.

Jay is a senior in high school who is currently staying in Hamilton for the year, then will go back to his home country, Taiwan. He has never left his country before, so it’s a big step for him. Jay plans on getting the “whole picture” of what life is like for American teenagers.

“I want to try, maybe, hunting,” Jay said.

When asked if hunting was popular, or if people usually hunt for a sport, Jay’s response was “never”.  He wants to give it a shot, but he doesn’t think he would have the chance to do it.

Jay plans to participate in many activities that a normal American teenager would do, such as basketball, and track. In Taiwan, basketball isn’t so popular, while running is.

Thursday, Nov. 8, Jay participated in Hamilton’s annual PowerPuff volleyball game.

“It was fun,” Jay said.

Back in Taiwan, Jay and his friends do something that most people in Hamilton have never done.

“Sometimes we ride our cycles across the whole of Taiwan,” Jay said.

In the summer, many kids take long bike rides across the country of Taiwan (13,907 sq. miles).

“Sometimes we spend a couple weeks at a time,” Jay said.

Although Jay is getting the big picture of what life is like for an American teenager, he realizes how far apart our worlds really are.

“Differences are (the) travel,” Jay said. “We usually drive cars, trains, scooters, buses, and motorcycles. But here, you only drive cars.”

Not only are there differences in travel, but the food is different also.

“Here you deep fry food, but in Taiwan, we only fry, not deep fry, on a pan,” Jay said.

At night in Taiwan, if teens want to hang out late, they go to a market called The Night Market.

“There is an area that is filled with food,” Jay said. “It is a food stand from seven to twelve at night.”

Although Jay gets to spend a year in Hamilton, his time here is short.

“I want to come back,” Jay added. “Not for study, but maybe for travel.”

Hopefully Jay’s “Zai Ken!” won’t mean forever.



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